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MP’s vicious attack on insurance

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Insurance Business | 30 May 2012, 12:05 AM Agree 0
People will be “driven to destruction, marriages broken up and families disintegrating” due to the actions of one of Australia’s biggest insurers, according to an MP’s livid outburst.
  • Robert Cooper | 30 May 2012, 11:56 AM Agree 0
    What a typical National Party reaction. Claiming to be on the conservative side of politics yet not recognising that Insurance is part of the free enterprise system and is not a charity. A substantial amount of the flood damage has actually been caused by local government approving building in known flood zones and not adequately addressing risk mitigation requirements, even to this day. It is simple, make the risk more insurable and it can be insured.
  • Damian Scantlebury | 30 May 2012, 11:58 AM Agree 0
    This MP is a wanker. He does not realise that the insurers in Australia provide much bigger stimulus packages than any Government. In Australia today Insurers pay out around $100,000,000 a day. The member for Gregory should become more informed before making out landish comments. It just goes to show the quality of our politicians once more - poor & uneducated. The cost alone just to ferry people out of flooded areas by emergency helicopters was I believe in excess of $10,000,000. Why then do the public have to put up with this cost when levies can be built to protect peoples property. If as the member for Gregory says is true which I doubt, "To be blaming the Central Highlands Regional Council for not having a flood mitigation program, I find that absolutely laughable", then their efforts need to be increased to be more effective. The damages costs are horrendous and we need to get the levies built quickly to stopp the possibility of this occurrance happeneing again. Suncorp are honouring their contracts contrary to Vaughn Johnsons comments, they are just not prepared to write any new business. They are the whipping boys for the previous Labour government in Queensland who for years have done nothing to assist the communities in the country areas. Its about time they did.

  • Ken | 30 May 2012, 12:03 PM Agree 0
    I feel that the Councils and perhaps developers that allow building in Flood prone areas are the ones that should be held accountable for flood claims. Insurers are not charitable organisations. Perhaps also the Government should consider buying back the GIO and providing cover for those who cannot obtain Insurance elsewhere.
    Perhaps the "Terrorism" premium charge could be renamed and allocated to "Disaster" cover and used to help out Australians who can't get cover because Governments have allowed building in Flood areas...where is all this money that has been secretly squirrelled out Policy holders for over a decade...there must be a fortune sitting somewhere?
    It's a bit rich for a Politician to blame an Insurer rather than the various levels of Government that have created the problem in the first place.
  • Andrew | 30 May 2012, 12:08 PM Agree 0
    Is there any chance that this politician realises that Suncorp is a business and not a chartiable organisation? If risk mitigation mechanisms are not of paramount concern, then maybe we should tell our clients not to bother with alarm systems, sprinkler systems and door locks too!
  • James Markwick | 30 May 2012, 12:23 PM Agree 0
    It would not surprise me if Vaughan Johnson has to apologise for his attack on Suncorp's Insurance. I look forward to hearing Suncorp's response in the next few days.
  • Bruce | 30 May 2012, 01:02 PM Agree 0
    Ken's suggestion to renaming the Terrorism charge is not a solution. Only commercial clients pay for the Terrorism levy, and to give it to householders as well is penalising business owners for the whole populations benefit. To add a Flood levy to all policy holders to only benefit the ones who buy homes in flood prone areas is probably not palatable to the public either.
  • Rolie Dingle | 30 May 2012, 01:41 PM Agree 0
    I understand that Vaughan is a dedicated and hard-working politician. It is unfortunate that in this instance he has commented before thinking. At the end of the day it is his government that needs to fast track the flood mitigation in Emerald and Roma. Let's see if Vaughan can be as quick against his Premier and Federal government as he has been against Suncorp. I too await his apology to Suncorp. I do think he is man enough.
  • AJ | 30 May 2012, 02:05 PM Agree 0
    Hilarious, Gregory has clearly demonstrated a severe lack of knowledge that has obviously resulted in Roma being in this situation. As commented above I believe a flood mitigation scheme for the area would have cost $9m, the result of local government not implementing it was a $10m spend on evacuations and Roma is still exposed. I am not surprised Suncorp have given up paying for MP's incompetence. Why should every other policy holder pay for their mistakes in higher premiums (that's what taxes do). I am sure if the MP wishes to do the best by his constituents and swallow his pride Suncorp would only be too happy to give them some advice on flood mitigation measures. When he has a risk that is worth looking at then cover will be provided a reasonable rates, if insurers keep on losing money then valid reasonable claims can not be paid. If he is so sure all Insurance companies make huge sums of money why does he not start his own insurance company and put his own money up as collateral?
  • Alan@logan | 30 May 2012, 02:10 PM Agree 0
    As a staunch voter of the LNP it is embarrassing and very disappointing that a senior member of the party/government should come out with such ill-informed and damaging criticism of Suncorp in particular and the insurance industry in general. His inane comments can only be to win a few cheap votes but does nothing for his or the new government's credibility!!
  • David Pearce | 30 May 2012, 03:23 PM Agree 0
    Vaughan Johnson might want to have a read of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 or even pick up the phone and have a chat with the ICA or even the insurance companies he is questioning before going of on a rant like this. It would have been good if the minster had of gotten his fact straight first. It is just typical of a politician/s to get stuck into the insurance industry. Never ever have I heard a well done after a cyclone destroys a town or two and the insurance companies authorise (usually up to a billion dollars worth of work) to stimulate the ecconomy and get peoples lives back on track. Come on Vaughan, get with the program and stop earning cheap political points and be a bit more proactive.
  • Peter Marer | 31 May 2012, 11:03 AM Agree 0
    And the reaction of ICA & NIBA ??? The silence is deafening !
  • Mark Silveira | 31 May 2012, 05:48 PM Agree 0
    The issue as I see it is that this ill informed commentary is exactly what most members of the general public believe. As a profession, the insurance industry clearly is not getting the message across as to its value proposition. Until it does, we can expect more and more of this type of grandstanding. After all, like Banks, the Insurance industry is a soft target.
  • Peter Thompson | 31 May 2012, 08:43 PM Agree 0
    The government, as the elected reprentative body of the community, has the responsibility of attending to the needs of its constituents when those needs aren't available from other sources. If The community's representatives allow building in flood prone areas then it is not up to commercial organisations, such as insurance companies, to spend shareholders funds supporting flood affected people at a cost to its shareholders. This reponsibility remains with the wider community, who have elected those responsible for allowing the building in flood plains!
  • Ralph Watson | 02 Jun 2012, 01:53 PM Agree 0
    Towns in flood prone areas are often needed in those areas due to the industries in that area. Therefore may not be able to be built elsewhere. Flood is a national problem - to protect the industries that these towns operate to service. Therefore a national fund (like New Zealand for earthquakes) needs to be set up for flood and this should be charged in the rates (not insurance) thereby spreading the cost of this across the broader community. National fund may be able to register as an insurer and utilise reinsurance (if possible) to its advantage.
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